Friday, March 30, 2018

Winter 2018 Wrap Up Part 3

So with this final part, we reach four of my favorite series to come out of the season. While each of them might have issues, in their own way they were the most enjoyable for me to watch and that's what I value most. Now on to the seires themselves now.

Slow Start
So many wonderul interactions in this show. Hana bonding with her friends. Eiko being well Eiko. It was nice to see everyone so supportive. Plus I love the Hana/Tama pairing a lot.  Every time the show provided shipping fuel,  I felt positive feelings. Hana and Tama need to get together. I think about the only thing I'm mixed on is how long they can keep the secret a secret. Side note, I also love how the side plot with Hiroe was handled.  Especially in the context of her limited screen time.


Mitsubushi Colors
Stand back would be evil for the ultimate evil is here! For there is nothing more evil than Justice Lolis! Seriously though they are kind of evil, but also kind of adorable. The show did have some issues like that one episode. Also the fact Sat-chan  needs to say that word a lot less often. Despite that the show was a lot of fun.  It became even better once Yui herself started to become well let's just say a bit more evil. Seriously some of her interactions with Sat-chan are quite amusing. 

If you're wondering, the best girl is Kotoha because reasons. Her hat habit, her hair, her 3DS, and just how evil she is. She alone was enough reason to keep watching. Of course, having Yui and Sat-chan both have their moments as well helped. Not to mention that the town in general is filled with some fun characters. Fun characters that often seem to love ot motivate dangerous girls....
.


Hakumei to Mikochi
This show is by far one of the best experiences for me. Hakumei and Mikochi are one of my favorite couples.  (Please never introduce a random dude that only exists to force hetero)  The fact they pretty much live together and are quite fond of each other is great. The world is imaginative and we got some pretty fun moments. The final two episodes also cemented the show as being of the best there is. Hopefully these have a long life together and even more hopeful we get to see more of it.

As for the supporting cast, I can't say I liked any of the characters as much as the leads (for once the leads surpassed everyone), I can say however they definitely added to the world and some of them were kind of fun. Konju if nothing else is pretty (blonds just work ,ok).  Plus without them some of the more fun moments couldn't have happend. So I appreciate their presence.


Yuru Camp
This series is pure joy, pure goodness, it's just pure a lot of things. It's by far my favorite series of the season. Mostly due to how both Rin and Nadeshiko were handled.  Not just in terms of their relationship with each other, but on an individual level.  It also helps that we had other characters to round out the cast and provide a pillar of support the series needed.  The more I think back on it, the more I realize just how well they handled the pacing. If I had any complaints, they were wrong.

The final episode of what better be season 1 of many just sealed the deal. Not to mention those last few scenes. The last few scenes showed so much growth and it was a great way to end things for now.  I'm not sure what the remaining seasons of 2018 will bring, but Yuru Camp is contender for anime of 2018 for me.

That pretty much covers it. Anything else I either dropped or don't want to admit to finishing. Plus to be honest anything not mentioned in this or the other entries is probably a mid tier to low tier show at best anyway. Regardless I'm (almost0 done with Winter, I want to move on to Spring now.

Winter 2018 Wrap Up Part 2

Next batch of Winter 2018 Anime. Yes, I know two of those are unfinished, but I highly doubt my opinions will change that greatly and if I don't make this entry now then it's never going to get made at this rate.


Takunomi

This is the third anime I've seen about a woman drinking and it's by far the best. Maybe it's because of the fact she socializes with other women and thus there's a bit of a back and forth. If I am to be honest they actually sell the subject well. Actually I feel like several shows this season were trying to motivate me in different ways.  This is far from being a top tier show of the season, but it was a pretty solid experience and I fully expect the final episode to end decently.


Toji no Miko (First Cour)

Hard to judge a show fully that's still airing, but what we got during the Wnter Cour of it was over all decent. We got some strong moments during the show. It has a good cut-off point too. In fact that's my main worry. Ie that the reason they'll choose for needing a second cour will be a bad one. Hopefully that won't be the case. Still if it is, I'll just pretend the show was only one cour. I can delude myself if need be, right?


Violet Evergarden

This show is filled with plenty of strong emotional moments and is very effective. So you'd think it would be top tier for me. Yet for some reason, it feels middle tier for me. Maybe it's because of how much it's competing with. Or I could be feeling fatigue with the show after 12 episodes. I'm not exactly sure why. Regardless, I don't regret having tried it or caught up with it. Although if there had been a second cour, I would have hesitated to watch more until it was over.


Sora Yori Mo Tooi Basho

One of the top five series of the season for me. I'm just amazed it managed to for the most part keep it up episode after episode. The interaction between the main girls really sold things. Plus it helps they were all given solid reasons for being on the journey.  Even Kimari's reason of wanting adventure was nice because not only did she make her own choice, she showed dedication. Which was a good change of pace.

Of the 13 or so shows I've seen this season,  this is definitely in the top 5. As for the rest of the top 5? That comes in the next entry. Which means people can pretty much figure out what the shows in question are by process of elimination.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Winter 2018 Wrap Up Part 1

Rather than wait for everything I'm watching to finish airing and have to make one huge entry, I'm going to talk about some of the shows I've finished now and break this into at least 3 entries, possibly more. For this entry we are going to start with series that definitely won't be making my top 5 in any shape or form. 


Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 

Over all I enjoyed this series, but there were times I started to think the "main joke" had run its course. Let's just say that if this series ever gets a second season, it badly needs to mix things up more. Aka, I want the spin-off time skipp manga animated. Still Takagi is amazing so I don't regret finishing this. It's still better than some other shows I've tried.


Maerchen Madchen

I could have gone with an image of the protagonist or main, but I think this perfectly describes how I feel on the series. Don't get me wrong, I like aspects of the series, but between the real life production issues and some of the episode pacing it feels like a case of just missing the mark. Yes, there is still two more episodes, but their uncertain future doesn't exactly help matters. I didn't want to feel disappointed and conflicted by this show, but I can't deny that I do.


Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san

Sorry, just thinking how better this series woud have been if Misa had been the lead. Yeah, the show was fun at first and still had some ok moments. However both Yuu and Koizumi were problematic just for different reasons. Also I've realized as I get older some character types grow less and less fun. Not that they were fun in the first place. I will admit I've tried far worse than this, but this is probably near the bottom of shows I've finished where it's a fair comparison.


Kaijuu Girls S2

If nothing else this series had guts, in fact it had Alien Guts, both of them even. She was pretty much the main focus for S2 if you ask me.  As before you can only get so much out of a 3-5 minute per episode series. However for what we do get, it was fine. Yeah, I thought I could drop this, but apparently I can't. S2 definitely expanded on things with more characters. It would probably be hyperbole to say that Kaijuu Girls S2 is better than the other three shows mentioned in this blog entry, but it's tempting. Can I at least put it above the Ramen Anime? Not that I'm good at exact rankings. Next entry will come later.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Rin & Nadeshiko = Favorite Winter 2018 Couple? (Yuru Camp Episodes 1-6)



Rin and Nadeshiko are one of my favorite pairs of the season right now. A lot of it has to do with how they've been developed over the course of the  six episodes that I've seen so far as of this blog entry. First, we start off with Rin becoming curious about Nadeshiko after seeing her sleep. Which then leads us into Rin helping a Nadeshiko that's in despair. This results in both a thankful Nadeshiko and a Nadeshiko interested in Rin's hobby which is camping. Thus Nadeshiko wants to spend more time with Rin and try out camping a bit more as well. Nadeshiko is essentially making herself a part of Rin's life now.


Indeed the two do start spending more time together (with some help) and it becomes clear that Rin is starting to enjoy Nadeshiko's company more and more. In fact, I'm reminded of those pairs in fiction where the main premise is the two just need to get used to each other to like each other. Except often times in those stories they go out of their way to make that scenario seem implausible, Thankfully both Rin and Nadeshiko are framed in such a way that this feel plausible. For one, they don't make Rin super anti-social and hateful. For two, Nadeshiko is never prevented as super annoying either.


I feel another thing that helps their relationship is their time spent apart. We're shown that while Nadeshiko is part of Rin's life now, she's still allowed to have her own separate life from Nadeshiko. She's essentially been given room to breathe.  Plus let's be honest the scenes of just Rin alone are some of the more relaxing moments of the series anyway. So while I wouldn't want her alone all time, seeing Lone Rin on occaion is actually kind of neat. As long as it's in dose of course.

 We also get to see Nadeshiko spend time with others Even better the two she's spending time with have their own group that camps. Thus showing that Nadeshiko has become legit interested in camping and isn't only doing it as an excuse to be with Rn. It makes her interest feel genuine and not sueperficial. That's not to say Rin played no part in motivating Nadeshiko, just that it shows that Nadeshiko can enjoy camping beyond "Because Rin does it".  


On the subject of being both together and apart, I love how episode 5 framed things with the scene near the end where both Rin and Nadeshiko were taking pictures of different skies or if you want to get technical the same sky from different view points. I'm not sure how to explain this, but it feels symbolic of their relatiosnhip especially near the end of the episode when the two of them are show side by side. As if to say they're together in spirit. Definitely one of the moment that raised their standing in terms of ships/pairs/couples of Winter 2018 for me.



Still what really saeals the deal for me is the scene in episode 6 where Rin is happy about Nadeshiko's happiness. Happiness that came from Nadeshiko getting a present from Rin. So we've gone from a Rin curious about Nadeshiko due to her sleeping on a bench to a Rin that's become fond of Nadeshiko's presence. This doesn't mean Rin rants to be with Nadeshiko 24/7, but it's clear Nadeshiko is now a part of Rin's life that she likes having around at least on occasion. I think Rin will always want her alone time though. Then again you could argue that's teue of many people.


So there you have it, this is at the very least one of my favorite pairs this season. At best there are only two maybe three other couples I feel as invested in as these two. Sure using the term couple in some cases is a bit of a stretch, but I still think of them as such. Or it could just be wishful thinking. Either way the growing relationship between Nadeshiko and Rin has been and will hopefully continue to be one of the best aspects of the Winter 2018 anime season.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Etrian Odyssey 5 (5th Stratum Party)

So been awhile since I talked about Etrian V Head Canon and what I decided for each party. So let's talk about the fifth party now. For the fifth and final party, I decided to have it so the 3rd stratum and 4th stratum parties clashed and the end result was a party formed from the survivors of both sides. Also once more Annie and Chikane have changed look and classes.

Fencer Annie
                       Decided to have Annie return to being a fencer. I tried to think of another class for her, but felt her returning to her roots was best. So just assume after she was "healed" she returned to her training and decided to redeem herself. Also darn it, I paid $2 for a School Girl portrait, I'm using it. Yes, I buy DLC sometimes, thanks for asking imaginary being.

Harbinger Hanami
Hanami pretty much was key to winning the fight and is considered the leader of the new party for that reason. She's blond this time because she died her hair and because I felt like changing her look a bit for this final party.  Oh and just assume she's wearing contacts. Yes, I love being able to change on the fly the colors of the hair and eyes for characters in my party.

Necromancer Mikuru 
Mikuru gets to be in the final party because I need my Necromancer and because she's Hanami's girlfriend. Changed her hair to white because uh stress? Not really too much to say here. I just want to continue death/death.

 Rover Rena
Like with Hanami, Rena also died her hair for the heck of it. She's part of the final party since I wanted the adopted sister to survive and because I wanted a Rover on the team for Stratum 5 and maybe 6 if/when I do that. I like the concept of the Rover and feel she fits well with the team.

Botanist Chikane
So Chikane's days of being evil are over thanks to Mikuru's efforts and Annie's pleas. I figured since I used Warlock and Necromancer portraits for her before, I'd use the base celestian portrait. I also made her Botanist because I wanted a healer in the game and I've only used a Botanist once before.. And for the record, she's still paired up with Annie even after the evil influence has gone away.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The WInter 2018 Anime Watch List Part 2 (The Best Of Them)

The following Five Series are pretty much the favorite five of the season and they are mostly ranked. Ie 5,. 4, 3, and to a lesser extent 2 could probably switch places.  However unless things drastically change, my number 1 series is a lock this season and some of you already know it. However let's go ahead and reveal the important five aka the best. 

Mitsubushi Colors (2 Episodes)

The main selling point for me aside from liking cute girls in general is Kotoha. She has a 3DS, she's evil, she has blue hair, and she's divine. Evil can be divine too.  Yui (Timid Miu0 and Sacchan are both good as well, but  neither can hold a candle to our Queen err best girl Kotoha. So for cute girls and especially for Kotoha this will be one of the highlights of the week for me.

Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san (3 Episodes)


Episode  2 and 3 saved this show for me. For which I'm thankful because a show combining blond girls and ramen (a higher level food for me) is something that I'd rather not have to pass on. The show seems to have found its balance between ramen worship, cute girl worship and character interaction. Here's hoping it can keep it up and the rest of the series will be closer to episode 2 and 3.

Sora Yori Mo Tooi Basho (3 Episodes)

I love this series for several reason. It makes good use of drama. The character interaction is great. However most of all the way it started was refreshing. Too often the big decision feels too forced, in that it doesn't feel like a choice. This time around, they made sure it felt like a choice. Thus our main character is not robbed of her agency. So her interaction with the protagonist is made even better because of it.

There is some worry. After all, it can be hard to keep it up for 12+ episodes. Also there is the concern of whether the destination will be satisfying. However for now it's an amazing journey. One worth being a part of it. From a distance of course.

Yuru Camp (3 Episodes)


This series is living up to its name quite literally. The relaxing nature of it is good. Also good is the developing relationship between Nadeshiko and Rin. Some of the moments they had need the end of episode 3 were quite special to me. In a sense, they're one of my favorite potential pairs of the season. Oh and the show gets automatic bonus points just because it reminded me of  another series in episode 3. No prizes for guessing what show that was. Crossover, please?

I do look forward to hipefully the group in general coming together, but my main motivation will be Rin and Nadeshiko.  Only downside to a show like is that it sometimes not much happens so it can be hard to find stuff to say. Still worth watching regardless.

Slow Start (3 Episodes)


By far my favorite series of the season. Helped in part by the premise, the interaction between the main girls, and most importantly Tama being Tama. She's pretty much enchanted me with her tama like powers. Also shipping her with Hana leaves me wih positive feelings. So for that reason alone I must with great bias choose this as the series for me. If I had any worry about it?

Well, I do worry they might be too slow to confront some issues and even when they finally start to do so, they could end up handling it in a lack lsuter way. Hopefully that won't be the case. For now I am going to have a lot of fun watching the show and hoping for as much Hana/Tama fuel as possible.

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So there you have it, the five most important anime of Winter for me. Better than the rest and definitely better than those shows I put on hold because too much to watch and shows I dropped because they were terrible or at best only passable. I would say Winter is off to a good start for me.

The WInter 2018 Anime Watch List Part 1 (The Rest Of Them)

So after trying so many series this season, I've settled on 13 shows this season. For this entry, I will talk about 8 of those shows. Treat these 8 series as not ranked in any particular order. In a sense, they are "The Rest". Next ime I'll talk about my five favorites this season aka the best.

Kaijuu Girls S2 (2 Episdodes)
It's pretty much just an excuse to see cute girls in Kaijuu based outfits, but it works for what it is. Plus it's short so it's not a huge investment. The 2nd season pretty much has our lead 3 girls having gained some experience, meeting other Kaijuu girls, etc. Only downside is because the episodes are only 3 minutes, the short bonus segment by default is only seconds....

Dagashi Kashi S2 (2 Episodes)

This time around the episodes are only half length, but it's for the best. Especially if they have no intention of moving anything forward and just want to focus on the main two appeals of the series. Which are Hotaru's sexuality and talk of candy. Yeah, that's pretty much it, but hey it's part of my diet this season.

Toji no Miko (3 Episodes)

The first episode felt like they were trying to rush through a 3 episode set up arc in only a single episode, and that's not the only issue this show has. However I was sold on the show near the end of the episode. Or to put it another way I am interesting in Kanami's relationship with Hiyori. As well as how the whole party comes together as indicated by the opening and ending.

Violet Evergarden  (2 Episodes)

I doubt I'll talk about this series much, but the way they're handling the premise so far does have me interested in seeing how things develop. For now anyway. Shows like this can run the danger of becoming too depressing or becoming too reliant on their premise. So here's hoping for the best.

Marchen Madchen (2 Episodes)

First episode sold me on the series because of Hazuki's narration, some of the set up and other aspects. Second episodewas both an upgrade because we get to see Hazuki interact with other girls especially her "better be future waife", but also a downgrade due to setting up a tired premise. But maybe this will be the anime that actually handles that premse well? Or at least doesn't let it ruin everything else.  Regardless, I'll definitely keep watching for Hazuki and the other girls for now.

Hakumei to Mikochi  (2 Episodes)

It's no secret I have a love for tiny girls. By tiny I mean think fairy sized, pixy sized, etc. So a show like this is already winning points with me. To make it even better, thhe two lead girls are pretty much married.  Yes, I know there is always a chance that a later episode might ruin my fantasy err reality, but I'll take what I can get for now. The interaction with other members of their own species and animals can be nice too. However the main appeal for me is their daily life together.

Takunomi (2 Episodes)

The second episode is what sold me on the series. First wasn't bad, but it was mostly set up. However the second allowed for the girls to interact more and give us a better view of our protagonist. Also, I'm thankful that unlike a certain show, this show doesn't use drinking to make people feel uncomfortable.  As a half length show and because I dropped a lot of series, I'll be sure to "walk" each and every episode.   Yes,  I mean "walk" not watch in this case.

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san (2 Episodes)


One thing that helps this show is that while Takagi is pretty much the girl that teases the guy she likes, she's doing so in a manner that's actually endearing rather than cruel.  On top of that some of the anime will be dedicated to the trio who by the way have their own manga. Thus this can allow occasional breaks from the formula.  For the record, I have noticed that Takagi looks like Iori from Idolmaster and now I want a parody series where Iori teases Yayoi out of love.

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So there you have it, these eight series ranging from decent to good help round out the season for me. Some of them might be dropped over time, but for now I'm sticking with them. I wanted to rank them, but I'd spend days trying to do that. So accept the list for what it is.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Experiencing Vs Consuming Aka Watching Too Many Series

So one of the major issues I have each season is I watch too many series. The end result of this is I eventually start auto-dropping some shows. Not in the sense of declaring the shows as dropped, but more in the sense of I just stop watching them and never (yet) get back to fnishing them. Even among the shows, I do keep watching, something else happens.

Some of the stuff I watch becomes like an experience in their own way. Maybe not as always a positive experience, but an experience. Sometimes on a deeper level too. Yet I am starting to realize quite a few shows I'm just consuming. They're there to be watched and nothing more. This isn't always a bad thing if kept in check.

However the more shows I decided to "keep" watching because they are consumable aka good enough the harder it is to keep up with everything. I don't expect to live tweet about every single show I watch, but the more shows I watch the fewer I can actually discuss. The more diluted things become.

I do know I need to cut back yet I keep making excuses for myself to keep watching some shows. Often the excuse is "Yes this is trash, but it has one cute girl in it"  or "I liked a nano second of the opening that's got to be enough reason, right?"  Sure for some shows a single girl can be a good enough reason. Other times that reason fails miserably. It just depends on what type of role she has vs how bad the show ruining characters are.

As of current I am up to 17 or so shows being watched this Winter 2018 Anime Season. That's out of 20+ shows tried, probably closer to 30+. 17 shows might not seem like a lot and this is after cutting out quite a few series. However I can't help but feel I'm still conusming for the sake of consuming. Problem though is I'm not always sure what I'm actually consuming rather than experiencing or vice versa. I can see myself being tricked by the moment.

Another problem is that sometimes seeing for myself is both a good and bad thing. Because I "see for myself" it can lead me to finding in enjoyment in shows that others sometimes seemingly "drop before they even air" or give up too quickly on. It can also prove to me that just because X, Y and Z are from the same mold doesn't mean there are no difference between them or one can't be the good among the bad even if the bad often outweighs the good by default,

However because of this, any time I'm time trying to decide "Do I keep going with this?" there is always a voice saying "Sure this might be yet another Absolute Duo, bu it could end up being a World Break"  World Break, Fafnir, and Absolute Duo were 3 similar shows that aired in the same season. Duo was the bad show,  Fafnir was the average show, Break was the decent show. However even Break still had its issues. So one could argue even World Break failed to cut it. Especially if you have what I don't, standards. The point being is I dig through too much trash to find gems and even if the show isn't exactly trash sometimes show is still not excactly up part.

The vacuum effect is another issue. In which I seem to be watching each show as if there is nothing else competing for my tune. Sure on some level, I realize the more shows I watch the less time I have for each. However I rarely stop to think about that when I decide "Might as well watch another episode". This starts to add up and eventually I ended up deciding to watch later or decide to skip live tweeting because I have so much to rush through.

The final issue is while I might claim "Don't follow the crowd for the sake of following the crowd" and "Don't be defiant for the sake of being defiant", that sometimes does happen to me. I both want to try series because others are watching them and try series that others are shunning to give them a chance. For the former maybe I'm just curious to see what makes it click with people. For the latter maybe I want to be the one that finds the gem?

To wrap this up, I am admitting to what everyone already knew. That I watch too many series each season. That because of it, I'm ultimately consuming series as if they're background noise rather than experiencing them as shows to discuss. So I do need to cut back. The problem is figuring out in a way that allows me to keep some individuality and doesn't backfire on me either. Ie I set the type of goals that you set only because you plan to break them anyway.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Favorite Of The Year That Stands Above The Rest (2017 Anime Favorites)

So I watched quite a few series during 2017. Some being much better than others and some far worse. However when all is said and done there is one series that stood out to me. Was the series from Autumn? Was it from Spring? Was it from Winter? The fact I only asked about three seasons here makes it clear it was a series from Summer. the remaining one. The Winning Series of 2017 for me was a series that's a spin-off of a show that I watched previous. Yes, the series in question is.....

Hina Logi: From Luck And Logic

I already had an interest in this series because I actually do like aspects of Luck and Logic. It's just that not every aspect was a winner. I won't get into every good or bad point except to say that the original series was a mix. Thankfully this spin-off had a lot more good for it and a lot less bad. Also it helps that as a lead, Lion is far better than well either lead in the original series. Both the guy and the girl were to be honest kind of boring. Original was carried more by the rest of the cast,

I was sold on Lion from the start and she gets some pretty good interactions with her friends, her family and her love interest. Meanwhile the rest of the cast had good interactions among themselves too even when Lion wasn't involved. Main frustration was how Yuuko treated Mizuki. I could never tell if Yuuko was essentially trying to toy with Mizuki and mess with her emotions or if Yuuko was just that selective in terms of being dense. Still I'd like to think maybe there's hope for their future.



On the subject of relationships, watching Nina and Lion develop as a couple by itself provided enough motivation for me to keep watching this. You can pretty much guess what one of my favorite moments between them was by the image above. That episode was good in general. It even managed to take a problematic concept and make it work. Or at least make it less of a problem than usual? Either way the good aspects of the series in general make up for the few negatives it might have had.


Lion's first outfit shown and the general use of it was another moment that sold me on the series in general. Actually I like quite a few of the outfits from this series. Also some from the parent series which might be part of the reason I finished that.  Ok, not every outfit was a winner and I'm sure some are too "servicey" for some, but as whole they worked.


I could go on, but let's wrap this up by saying this much. After looking back on what I watched of 2017 Anime, I came to the conclusion that Hina Logi was the series I evenjoyed the most as a whole. It was something to look forward to each week. Sure it failed in some areas, but then again some areas it wasn't even competing anyway. Still for now (until I change my mind 3 months later), Hina Logi is best anime with Nina and Lion being one of my favorite pairings for 2017 too.